Berezan’ Stone

‘Grani gærði hvalf þæssi æftir Karl, félaga sinn.’
‘Grani made this sarcophagus after Karl, his partner.’

The Berezan’ Runestone (UA Fv1914;47) was part of a stone coffin, buried on the island of Berezan’ (Березань) off the north coast of the Black Sea, just outside the mouth of the Dnieper River. The carver, Grani, and the deceased, Karl, are said to be ‘félagar,’ a word derived from the words ‘fé,’ meaning ‘wealth,’ and ‘lag,’ meaning ‘that which is laid down’ (the word has multiple meanings, but all are from this sense of ‘laid down’). Together these have a sense of ‘those who have put their wealth together.’ These two had pooled their resources to embark on such a journey, one which Karl would not return from.

Considering the use of ‘hvalf,’ the men were likely from Gotland.

Photo: Berezanj (kopia av runstensfragment); Ukraina by Bengt A. Lundberg / Riksantikvarieämbetet, CC BY 2.5 / Link

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